01 Jan The Reading Report Card of 2017
I read 37 books this year!
This is a surprise even to me because I consider myself a very lazy/slow reader. It isn’t a false claim considering there are people who’ve read upwards of 100 books. I hope to reach that number someday. Maybe in another lifetime.
For this past year though, I am happy with my count. I plan to read 50 books in 2018.
Last year, I was keen on not abandoning any book but I couldn’t keep up that for very long. I may not subscribe to the same mandate this year.
I picked up a few classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and even though it didn’t hold my attention for too long I continued reading it until I couldn’t any longer. I finally had to give in and abandon it. I may pick it up again some other time.
I managed to finish JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy despite strong temptations to drop it. I got the book in a blind book exchange and boy, did I hate it in the beginning. Never again would I take part in a blind book exchange, I thought. At the end, I quite liked it though. Would be happy to do another such exchange.
I re-read an old favourite that I had first read in school – Hotel. It is the only Arthur Hailey I don’t own. Thanks to my publisher, who very kindly lent his copy to me, I could relive my school and my college days! I even took a picture of the whole set and showed it off, pretending that all books were owned by me.
I read erotica – a genre I wouldn’t have otherwise picked up had it not been a recommendation from my book club. A Handbook for My Lover by Rosalyn D’Mello was not just a good read but a lesson in writing too. Her language and expression is exquisite. Do pick it up even if you don’t usually read erotica.
On the subject of reading books that teach writing, a writer who hasn’t read the last word on writing isn’t really a writer. And so, I read (and learnt immensely from) Stephen King’s On Writing. I also read a collection of essays by Saadat Hasan Manto titled Why I Write.
In romance, which is my favourite genre, I read Kiran Manral’s All Aboard and Sakshama Puri Dhariwal’s Man of her Match – both breezy, light reads. I found All Aboard an okay read, despite the glaring grammatical errors.
Among the ones I absolutely loved were Palace of Illusions, Onaatah, Just Married, Please Excuse, The Doodler of Dimashq, Hidden Riches, and Museum of Memories.
Two books which had shocked and made me very uncomfortable were Birds of Prey and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. You have to read them to know why I say they made me uncomfortable.
Many of the books I read and loved were from my favourite publishing house – Readomania. Out with Lanterns, Padmavati, The Woman Who Saw the Future, Revelations of an Imperfect Life are only some of the hugely popular books that they released this past year.
I have big plans this year. 50 books big. I’ll read more of the popular and acclaimed authors I haven’t yet read. I read more from the legends like Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai. I plan to read more feminist literature – Indian and non-Indian.
I also won’t be very particular about finishing a book if I don’t like it. There’s only so much time and so many books to read.
I plan to make 2018 a year when I read more than I’ve ever read, and in the process enrich my life even more and become a better person.
What about you? What are your reading goals for 2018? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? What did you think of them? Share your comments via the comment box below.